Solar set-up for Nordgold's Burkina Faso mines

Nordgold is planning to power its Bissa and Bouly mines in Burkina Faso with a 13-megawatt solar photovoltaic (PV) plant
Solar set-up for Nordgold's Burkina Faso mines Solar set-up for Nordgold's Burkina Faso mines Solar set-up for Nordgold's Burkina Faso mines Solar set-up for Nordgold's Burkina Faso mines Solar set-up for Nordgold's Burkina Faso mines

Made of close to 130,000 PV panels, Essakane Solar is one of the largest solar facilities in sub-Saharan Africa. Photo: Total Eren

Staff reporter

The gold producer has signed an agreement with France-based independent power producer Total Eren, which specialises in renewable energies, and the strategic development partner, Africa Energy Management Platform (AEMP), for the project.

The aim is to build a 13MW PV power plant, which will provide 100% renewable energy to the Bissa and Bouly operations.

The project team will begin construction of the plant soon and is expecting to complete it by the December quarter of 2020.

The solar PV will provide Bissa and Bouly with power for both mines' daily operational needs. Accordingly, Nordgold is hoping to significantly reduce reliance on the existing thermal power plant, while also increasing security of supply and reducing costs at both mines.

AEMP will develop, finance, construct and operate the solar plant, which will be complemented by a battery energy storage system. This solution could reduce the mines fuel consumption by approximately 6.4 million litres and CO2 emission by approximately 18,000 tonnes per year, the miner said.

Nordgold CEO Nikolai Zelenski commented: "The installation of a solar power plant at Bissa and Bouly, Nordgold's key assets in terms of production, is in line with our strategy of implementing the best environmental standards across our operations."

Nordgold operates 10 mines (five in Russia, three in Burkina Faso and one each in Guinea and Kazakhstan), and, in 2018, it produced 907,000 ounces of gold.